Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic (2003)
Published in 2003 Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic is a game of great importance in historical terms. Although BioWare was already before Knights of the Old Republicia had time to develop great Baldur’s Gatet and Neverwinter Nightsinkin, they were “just” Dungeons & Dragons games. There had already been countless of them on the market, so despite their excellence, they were just excellent versions of familiar games.
Knights of the Old Republic was another country. It appeared at a time when Star Wars The number of games was just starting to rise, which immediately added value to the game. Self George Lucas had let these guys do Star Wars role-playing game? Jumpe, it must be something special! For historical reasons, it should be recalled that the pre-trilogy, which was still under way in 2003, had not yet been completely ruined. Star Warsin or Lucas ’reputation for part of the fan base, so the previous claim was not sarcasm for its part.
Knights of the Old Republic was also a different role-playing game. It itself felt almost like a movie and took the storytelling of role-playing games to a whole new level. In recent weeks, we have heardthat a full-blooded remake of the game is now being developed 18 years later and may boys, there is a need for that as well.
From the perspective of 2021 Knights of the Old Republic feels like a very familiar game, which is not at all surprising. After all, it is the first modern BioWare game that, when played, immediately notices several and obvious intersections, for example Mass Effect with the trilogy.
The player directs a mercenary recruited at the last minute to protect the Jedi Knight Bastilla on his secret mission. The mission ends in disaster, so a few adventurers who survived the Sith attack set out in search of the Jedi and find out why the hero who lost his memory was specifically invited on a trip to Bastilla.
The story is told through dense interlude animations, interspersed with a fully voice-activated and cinematic conversation in which the player chooses his reply from a few options. There is a stack of special and entertaining characters who have their own moral code and who may not always agree with the player on his solutions. Indeed, familiar stuff from a BioWare veteran perspective, but in 2003, all of this caused countless spontaneous bursts of consciousness.
From this same 2021 perspective Knights of the Old Republic however, the gaming experience is less explosive. At least in that positive sense.
One of the truths of the gaming world is that technology is constantly evolving and drawing games through it. I’m not just talking about graphics and the growing computing power of gaming machines, although of course that also works. Like many other early 3d games as well Knights of the Old Republic looks pretty barren these days. It is also locked into the technology of its time, as the developers could not have predicted that, for example, 16: 9 aspect ratio monitors would become more common and screen resolutions would grow at an enormous rate. Of course, viewing a 4: 3 picture on a widescreen display would be no problem, but it is undeniable that all the menus are on a small stamp in the center of the screen because they are locked at a fixed resolution.
As you know Knights of the Old Republicia was developed with such a hop that the project, beautifully speaking, was left unattended. The developers cut the contents of the oblique stack in the final meters, which could not be delayed even to the level of the final game by the time of release. According to it, the content that can be accommodated also varies in quality, and there are really special solutions in the package. When one of the first pieces of advice shared by fans for a new player is that this isn’t worth raising any experience levels on the first planet of the game, some game designer may have been a little bumpy in their work.
And that’s not the end of the problem, of course. The interface is stiff and rugged, and modern eyes can’t really believe that the game’s default control method holds one mouse button down and rotates the camera, so holding it at the bottom of the other button causes the character to walk toward the camera. Of course, more traditional WASD control is also included today, but only as an option that will be introduced to the player later.
Again, what are you doing? Development is evolving and games are on that side. I’m not trying to argue now that the 2003 game developers were some kind of barbarians capable of ditching berries in their noses. Let me just say that game usability and user interface design have since evolved quite a bit and through that a lot of practices have been found that have become basic requirements over the years.
Is Knights of the Old Republic so really full shit? Well no. Yes, it has earned the legend its place, although undeniably, playing it is frustrating and stiff these days. In theory, it would be possible to bolt into mods made by fans that fix its problems and even try to add that removed content from the game, but why? Once we know that a remake developed from the beginning is already on the horizon, at least I would rather wait for it to be released and explore the good aspects of the game in a package from which those jagged edges will hopefully be polished off.
And if the remake turns out to be a watered down and ruined copy, I reserve the right to return swearing to install a dozen different mods on the PC version of GOG.com.
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